I was curious about how long I’ve been reading and publishing and trying to help promote Maryam, so I went into the archives to find out. The answer is since August 2004. Nearly a decade.
I published an International TV Interview with Fariborz Pooya and Bahram Soroush August 15 2004.
Have a sample:
Maryam Namazie: You hear this also from the progressive angle as well. People who like what we say – for example, that we are standing up against political Islam – immediately assume that we are ‘moderate Muslims’. In the interview that you Bahram Soroush gave on the incompatibility of Islam and human rights for example, you clearly said that you were an atheist. But it just doesn’t seem to register, even among progressives. Why is that? I understand the political interests of Western governments, but why do even progressives have that opinion of us?
Fariborz Pooya: Part of it is ignorance. Purely ignorance. And it’s our duty to show the facts of the society in Iran and in the Middle East. To show that, for example, Iranian society is not Islamic at all. It’s deeply secular. It’s anti-religious. If you remove the dictatorship of the Islamic government from Iran, within a week or two, you will see the depth of secularism and the depth of the anti-Islamic movement. You will see the backlash that will have a major impact in the Middle East and the world, and not just within Iran. There is a strong socialist and workers’ movement in Iran. There is a history and tradition of the socialist movement. There are fights for workers’ interests; there are fights for improvements of living conditions.
So part of it is ignorance, and it is our duty to speak to our friends who are misinformed and to show them the realities of life in Iran. That’s part of our responsibility. I don’t think we have done enough work on that. We need to do more, and this sort of TV programme and our publications and activities are partly geared towards clarifying this and showing the reality of Iran and the Middle East. The other side of it, as Bahram clearly said, is political interest. To divide people based on religion, based on nationality, serves certain political interests. Because then it’s easier. You have similar movements in Western societies as well; ghettoising people and dividing people based on ethnicity, which is part of controlling society as well.
Maryam’s a comrade.